2002 was kind of a crazy year. Although, with three little boys, what year wasn't? But that was kind of a banner year.
Kerry kicked it off with a raging case of shingles, and then (unrelated) lost his job. I had recovered from an (unplanned) caesarean, tried to keep three boybarians age five-and-under civilized enough that Kerry could work out of our living room (then attic, then mudroom, and finally garage - oh joy!), and was holding my own in the testosterzone. Wyatt had just turned six and was about to start Kindergarten. Gunnar had just turned one and was walking.
And Tate was three and a half, and we finally realized he couldn't hear very well.
Joy to the whirled.
Sometime between his birth and Gunnar's they began screening newborns for hearing loss at our local hospital, so Tate missed that. His speech development was age-appropriate. And his huge, blue-green eyes were taking everything in. Of course, he had more hearing then. Also, I'm kind of militant about look-at-me-when-I'm-talking-to-you, which probably helped.
But mostly, Tate just works so hard.
In fact, we might have gone on a lot longer if I hadn't tried to put him on the phone with someone and noticed the confusion on his face. I could hear the person from a few feet away, and I watched Tate as he looked blankly at the phone and said, "Start talking."
Which means that hearing aids have been part of our life for nearly ten years now.
Look how little he was! What a cutie! And those huge, huge eyes. We called him Tater-bug, and Sweet (po) Tater.
We took an extended-family vacation to Oregon while he was still adjusting to the barrage of sound.
Being a toddler at the beach, he had quite a bit of time with his HAs safely in the house. He couldn't handle wearing them all the time at first anyway. Too much noise. Too much to process. But he quickly adjusted.
We all did. Heck, HAs became cool. Gunnar had to have his own...
... made from genuine pipe cleaners.
But as Tate has grown, and lost more hearing, and more hearing, and gone from two HAs to one, and continued to lose hearing...
his HA just isn't cutting it any more.
For those of you who've asked, yes, we are very open to signing. I've tried to keep him exposed to it, through the years. I'd love to learn - it's a fascinating language.
But Tate himself prefers to be oral/aural.
So we're off on a new adventure.
Next Thursday we have our first couple of appointments with the CI team at Seattle Children's to look into implanting Tate.
Nervous? You bet.
Pray for us, okay?